The Philippines has acceded to the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (BTAP), a development seen to strengthen the protection of Filipinos performers’ intellectual property (IP) rights in a digital age of globalization.
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Director General Rowel S. Barba said that President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed last January 14 the Instrument of Accession. The Philippines’ instrument of accession has been transmitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs for deposit to the World Intellectual Property Organization within the first half of the year. It will come into effect three months after deposit.
“We are thankful to President Duterte for signing the instrument of accession. Our entry into the Treaty will ensure that audiovisual performances of Filipino actors, musicians, singers and dancers will be given a uniform level of international protection, and that this protection is applied to all new technologies used in bringing their works to global markets,” Barba said.
Adopted in 2012 and entered into force on April 28, 2020, the BTAP provides a standard for remuneration and protection of audiovisual performances, both in recorded and live formats. The establishment of the Treaty is motivated by the need to recognize performers’ important contributions in making creative works accessible to the public.
Barba explained that while the Philippines acceded to the BTAP only recently, the country’s IP Code already complies with obligations in the Treaty following amendments made to the law in 2013.
“However, protection through national laws does not guarantee international protection. As such, our accession to BTAP ensures that Filipino producers and performers enjoy economic rewards when their films, TV series and other audiovisual products are screened or made available in the 39 and growing number of countries party to the Treaty,” Barba added.
The move is also “very timely” with the creative sector suffering the biggest setback in 2020, according to Barba, citing the July 2020 joint survey of the World Bank Group, the National Economic Development Authority and the Department of Finance on the impacts of COVID-19 on Philippine businesses.
According to the survey, the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector saw the highest business closures at 82 percent––61 percent were temporarily closed while 21 percent, permanently closed due to the ECQ.
“The Philippines’ accession will expand global opportunities for our performers, greatly raise their incomes and jumpstart the recovery of our creatives sector and audiovisual industry. With adequate support and protection, I believe the audiovisual industry can contribute more to our economy and further lift our cultural esteem,” Barba added.
For recorded performances, the BTAP grants audiovisual performers four economic rights: rights to authorize the reproduction; distribution; rental; and making available to the public. For live performances, performers have three economic rights: rights to broadcast (except rebroadcasting); of communication to the public (except broadcasted performance); and the right of recording.
The BTAP also recognizes performers’ moral rights to claim attribution for their performances and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modifications.
The exercise of these rights IS enjoyed for at least 50 years and cannot be subject to any formality.